Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

Both hot flashes and night sweats are signs of hormone imbalance, often associated with a drop in estrogen that occurs at menopause.

But, did you know that:
1. Men can have hot flashes and night sweats too? These can accompany a drop in testosterone at andropause.
2. Women as early as their late 30’s can experience them? This is often a sign of an underfunctioning endocrine system as a whole. Supporting the components of the endocrine system (adrenal glands, ovaries, thyroid, pituitary etc) can help resolve these symptoms.
3. Stress can precipitate hot flashes?
4. Hot flashes can be a sign of hormone imbalances other than low estrogen? Low testosterone, low progesterone and low DHEAs can also cause hot flashes.
5. Certain medications can trigger hot flashes? Over the counter sinus and allergy remedies are an example of such medication triggers.
6. The most common time for night sweats is between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.?

Whatever the cause of your hot flashes, natural medicine has many treatment options including diet changes, vitamins and minerals, herbs and acupuncture.

Hypothyroid and Autoimmunity

If you’ve been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, you may also have been tested to determine if your thyroid is underactive because you have a condition called Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune thyroid problem where your body is attacking your thyroid and destroying the tissue so that it can’t function normally. Firstly, it’s important to know if this is the type of hypothyroidism that you have. The blood tests for Hashimoto’s include: TSH, free T3, free T4, anti-TPO antibodies, anti-thyroglobulin antibodies and anti-microsomal antibodies.

If these tests are positive for Hashimoto’s, then there are six factors that need to be considered in order to reduce the antibodies and help you feel better, maybe even recovering normal thyroid function.

1. Stress
2. Adrenal gland function
3. Viruses or latent viral infections (such as herpes viruses)
4. Diet
5. Dysbiosis and Leaky gut
6. Toxin accumulation (including heavy metals)

If you have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, particularly if there is a family history of hypothyroidism and if you are not feeling significantly better on thyroid medication, you should pursue Hashimoto’s testing and if positive, address the above factors with the assistance of a licensed naturopathic doctor.